Russian watchdog speaks out on monkeypox spread


Neither of the two known cases of the disease in the country are believed to have caused transmissions

Monkeypox is not spreading in Russia, health officials have said, after reporting the full recovery of the second patient diagnosed with the disease in the country.

The unidentified man was released from a hospital in St. Petersburg on Friday with no symptoms of the disease and “poses no [transmission] risk to the public,” the city’s branch of the sanitary watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said. “No new cases of the infection have been identified.”

The case, the second identified in Russia, was reported in early September. The patient was identified as a man who had just returned to Russia after a trip to several European countries. The first monkeypox infection was reported in mid-July in a patient who had returned to St. Petersburg from Portugal.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said earlier this month that the UN health body had received reports about over 50,000 confirmed monkeypox cases and 16 deaths this year. The number eclipsed the total number of infections since the disease was first identified in the late 1950s, he added.

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Most of the affected people were men who engaged in sex with other men, with about 40% of the cases being men who have HIV, according to WHO figures. Ghebreyesus said he was hopeful that monkeypox could be eliminated in countries where it is not endemic to animals, with available public health measures.

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